I’m back! The main ‘reason’ referred to in my last post was the fact I was going on holiday. I didn’t say anything as I didn’t want to advertise the fact that the house would be empty for nearly two weeks. (The computer still hasn’t been repaired but it is behaving itself at the moment, touch wood.)
Unlike our last holiday, way back in February, to Russia, I didn’t get to see much art. We were on a cruise of the Med and the Black Sea, which included a call at Istanbul. There, among other places, we went to the Hagia Sofia Mausoleums. One of them is the Mausoleum of Sultan Mehmed II.
Outside there was an interesting information board:
Here is my photo of the panel:
Now, I’ve come across ‘art theft’ in a number of different forms. The loss of Vermeer’s The Concert from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, for example, was 100% theft. Jews in Nazi Germany were forced to sell their art at knock down prices. Their descendants are gradually getting them back. Armies have for centuries carried off art works as part of their plunder. There is still a continuing debate regarding the Elgin Marbles in the British Museum.
However, the information that tiles from the mausoleum were sent to France for restoration and “counterfeits were made in Sevres and were placed where originals once laid”, putting the originals on display in the Louvre, is a new (to me, at least) and unbelievable type of art theft!